Overcoming the Blank Page Syndrome in Confluence

ld - 5 min read
29. Sep. 21

Confluence is a wonderful tool to centralise the company's information, build a knowledge base and share ideas. From creating and sharing individual pages to creating entire areas where teams gather their information, Confluence provides a content hub. And when it comes to team collaboration, this platform is the proven and established solution.

Getting started with Confluence is not too complex and the low barriers to entry quickly enable team members to create content. However, when Confluence usage is to be scaled transparently across the entire organisation, challenges quickly arise. While all employees can quickly and easily deposit and share information, users are also confronted with the fact that there are many different pages in many different places that are relevant in one way or another in the specific case and would be useful to reference.

First finding the existing content and then preparing the new information in a sensible way is far from ideal as a starting point. It's as if we were sitting at our desk and had an untidy pile of papers and post-its with our notes in front of us. And as a Confluence user, it can happen that we sit in front of an empty Confluence page and have no idea where to start when it comes to documenting new ideas or projects.

The fear of the blank page

Blank pages can be an inhibiting challenge, especially for inexperienced users, because there are no guiding principles on how to fill them and where we should start. In many situations, we also don't have the time to plan and develop a concept, whether it's setting up an internal campaign or documenting a meeting. This makes the whole process difficult.

In some cases, it's just better to have some guidelines on how a page could look. This removes inhibitions and makes it easier for us to focus on the actual information we want to share.

Where to start? A template can help!

This is where Confluence comes in with its templates. In Confluence, we can create templates without programming. These are predefined pages that are then simply further filled with content after the page has been created. To make this even easier, Confluence comes with several popular templates with predefined content - for example, the meeting notes template, which we can use to document our meetings in a structured way and record follow-up tasks.

Where to start? A template can help!

This is where Confluence and its templates come into play. In Confluence, we can create templates without programming. These are predefined pages that are then simply filled with content after the page has been created. To make this even easier, Confluence comes with several popular templates with predefined content for example, the meeting notes template, which we can use to document our meetings in a structured way and record follow-up tasks.

template overview

We don't have to worry about the structure of the page and can start writing directly. Accordingly, there are many use cases for such templates in which they prove useful and time-saving.

From templates to blueprints

However, if we take a closer look at the template possibilities that Confluence offers, the complexity that arises, for example, when we not only have to document information, but also have to deal with recurring tasks, becomes clear. If we have to create new pages frequently, we will end up forgetting information despite the template.

meeting notes

Blueprints can serve as orientation here. Their extended functionalities compared to classic templates open up a way to gather all relevant information accurately and completely and place it directly on the page. Before a new page is even created, important details such as meeting date, location, participants or teams can already be collected. This article provides more information on the difference between templates and blueprints.

Confluence blueprints without programming

The use of feature-rich blueprints, nevertheless, has a catch: for each creation of a blueprint, programming work is necessary: Unlike creating templates, we need skills in Velocity and Java for blueprints. And we also need to involve a development team every time we change a blueprint.

An alternative to this is the Blueprint Creator app, which enables intuitive creation of blueprints in the Confluence editor.

This allows teams to overcome the 'blank page syndrome' and not only save time, but also avoid clutter and waste. Our team can instantly share knowledge and document content without worrying about formatting. With this app, we can make the valuable functions of blueprints work for us without the need for programming skills.

A simple start for teams

Giving our teams such an easy and intuitive way to create fully comprehensive, accurately formatted Confluence pages can lead to remarkable results. New, inexperienced users, in particular, benefit from being able to get straight to creating content without a long familiarisation period. Blueprints and templates are also good prerequisites for our long-term goal: a tidy, helpful, structured Confluence area that we build in a time-saving and resource-saving way.

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